A strange shoulder injury -- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome -- is the latest news in the Markelle Fultz saga, as reports indicate the Sixers Guard is now going to be out indefinitely.
At 4:49 on Tuesday afternoon Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweeted that according to his agent Raymond Brothers Markelle Fultz, point guard for the 76ers, has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Here’s the tweet .
Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), according to the Mayo Clinic is a disorder that occurs when blood vessels and nerves are compressed. Fultz’s injury would appear to be that the nerves in the neck and shoulder are compressed, limiting his range of motion. As Wojnarowski notes, this would greatly affect his ability to shoot a basketball.
The injury is generally treatable through physical therapy. Among the common causes of the injury is a traumatic event such as a car accident. There have been rumors online that the shoulder was originally injured in a motorcycle accident. There is no evidence for this but the diagnosis will likely add credence to that theory.
Fultz has not been practicing or playing with the team since being benched for the second half of the Sixers November 19th game against the Phoenix Suns. The day after that game it was announced that Fultz would be seeing a specialist in New York relating to his shoulder and wrist.
The team appeared blindsided at the time with both Head Coach Brett Brown and General Manager Elton Brand making statements that implied they did not know this was coming and that his absence from team activities and ongoing injury-related pain was a surprise to them.
Fultz has been present at several games since but has not suited up. He was reportedly seeing a specialist in St Louis during this time period as well as the doctors in New York.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Fultz will be starting physical therapy immediately and will be out indefinitely, as he puts it, “Likely weeks”.
This is the second time during his tenure with the team that Fultz has been diagnosed with a shoulder issue that required physical therapy to heal. Last season the diagnosis was listed as a Scapular imbalance. He missed most of the season while rehabbing the injury. It is not known at this time if the two are related or different injuries entirely.
Markelle Fultz was averaging 8.2 points per game with 3.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds for the season in 22.5 minutes per game. He started every game prior to the Jimmy Butler trade and began coming off the bench.
Aside from an end of quarter heave, his last attempted three point shot was on October 30th.